New Half Marathon is latest addition to Worcester’s sporting landscape

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Details have been announced of a major new running event in Worcester. The Worcester City Half Marathon will make its debut on Sunday 17 September and follow a route that takes in city landmarks and the surrounding countryside.  It is the latest race to form part of the Worcester City Run event, organised in a partnership involving Worcester City Council and Events of the North, the company run by athletics legend Steve Cram.

Launched in 2014, the Worcester City Run event has established itself firmly on the city’s sporting calendar, with the Worcester City 10K attracting larger fields each year, including big names like Paula Radcliffe, Jo Pavey and Jenny Meadows, and emerging local stars such as Jenny Nesbitt.  The 10K will return for 2017, along with the Young Athletes Run.  The Worcester City Run-Bike-Run is taking a break this year to allow the organisers to successfully integrate the new half marathon.  Events of the North is in discussion with British Triathlon, with the intention of bringing a top class duathlon back to Worcester in 2018.

Along with a new race, the Worcester City Run has also secured the backing of Freedom Leisure as official training partner, and the University of Worcester is returning as an associate partner.  The launch of the half marathon comes on the back of the recent opening of a new swimming pool at Perdiswell Leisure Centre, and is another indication of Worcester City Council’s ongoing commitment to supporting a healthy and active city.

Since its launch, the Worcester City Run has enjoyed strong support from the city’s residents, with thousands of local runners participating in the races.  Many of them have used the events to raise money for good causes and organisers will be encouraging them to support Worcester Samaritans this year, the official Worcester City Run charity partner for 2017.

Steve Cram comments:
“The Worcester City Run has been a great success story and it’s been fantastic to witness how residents of the city have taken the event to their hearts.  Participation has grown year on year and we’re really excited that Worcester City Council has given the green light for us to add a half marathon to the programme.  I’m certain that runners will enjoy the route that we have planned and we’re building some excellent local partnerships with Freedom Leisure, the University of Worcester and Worcester Samaritans.  I think that we can all look forward to an even bigger and better Worcester City Run weekend in September.”

The Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Paul Denham, adds:
“The Worcester City Run is now a major milestone in Worcester’s annual sporting calendar, attracting thousands of runners every year.  It’s an exciting part of the city council’s commitment to ensuring we have a healthy and active city, and I’m confident the new half marathon will make 2017’s event more popular than ever.”

Ivan Horsfall-Turner, managing director of Freedom Leisure, comments:
“As operators of three local leisure facilities across the district of Worcester city, we’re absolutely delighted to be the official training partner of this wonderful event – especially in the year when the new half marathon element has been added.  Just like the event, Perdiswell Leisure Centre has also recently seen new additions!  All of our centres and their highly qualified fitness teams will be on hand to support participants with numerous training options, giving them the best prospect of success and ongoing fitness solutions.”

Meg Richards, director of Samaritans, Worcester, adds:
“Although Worcester Samaritans is part of the national charity, we take our responsibility for local community care very seriously.  We run a school’s programme throughout Worcestershire, concentrating on young people’s emotional health.  We regularly attend the Upton Blues Festival, Worcester Show and other local events.  We also provide listener training skills to prisoners at HMS Hewell.  Until recently we talked to patients in the Life after Stroke Centre.  We are delighted to be part of the Worcester City Run, which will make such a huge difference to so many.  We’re there and we care.”

Organisers are offering ‘early bird’ discounts for places on the Worcester events, which are now open at  Places on the Worcester City Half Marathon will cost £33 for unaffiliated runners (£31 for affiliated) until 28th February, and then £35/£33.  Places on the Worcester City 10K will cost £25 for unaffiliated runners (£23 for affiliated) until 28th February , and then £27/£25.  Places on the Young Athletes Run (one mile for under 11s and 3k for under 16s) cost £8.

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